Laser cutting and laser drilling
The laser can handle a variety of cutting tasks.
These range from micrometer-precise cutting joints in paper-thin semiconductor chips to quality cuts in 30-millimeter-thick steel. In laser drilling, the laser beam generates very small to large holes in metals, plastics, paper and stone, without contact.
Where the focused laser beam strikes the workpiece, it heats the material so extremely that it melts or even vaporizes. Once it has completely penetrated the workpiece, the cutting process can start: the laser beam moves along the part contour, melting the material as it goes. Usually, a stream of gas blows the melted material downwards, out of the cut. The gap is barely wider than the focused laser beam itself.
In laser drilling, a short laser pulse melts and vaporizes the material with a high power density.
The resulting high pressure drives the molten material out of the hole.